Meet The Team / Sarah Gilbert
Sarah has always been an overachiever; she had to walk sooner, suck her pacifier harder, and like coffee better than any other little girl. She's trying like everything to avoid bringing her competitive spirit into parenting. Which is so hard. She lives in Portland, Ore. in partially-renovated 1912 house with her sons Everett (born 2002) and Truman (born 2005) and her Army Reservist hubby, who could leave her at any moment (ack!). Now she's given up her once-promising investment banking career (which, let's face it, really cut into precious baking time) and dedicated her life to blogging, cooking and photographing the heck out of her children and everything she eats.
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Signs have appeared in Wegman's grocery store delis (this one was spotted in Dulles, Virginia) warning customers that children -- due to fear of allergens -- may not order food without an adult present.
I have no idea what to say about this, but it seems further proof to me that food has gone from pleasure and nourishment to a substance needing regulation, brightly-colored barriers and warning signs.
Alert! There may be eggs in your asparagus omelette! Hide your women and young ones.
Filed under: Stores & Shopping
I don't think I have an addictive personality, but it's true: I'm addicted to caffeine. Not only am I an addict, I'm something of a snob, pooh-poohing Starbucks and supermarket brands for single-estate coffee beans and PG Tips tea. It's ok: as luxuries go, my choices aren't terribly draining on family finances. At about $10 a 12-ounce bag, my coffee habit runs me less than $20 a week.
But. I'm trying to eat local, honoring as much of the spirit of the 100-mile diet and the locavores as I can (though my range is probably more like 300 miles, given how huge is my home state of Oregon).
In a piece that seemed more bitter than escarole picked past its prime, Stewart takes America to task for its focus on the word, concept, and media conglomerate behind "locavores." (In case you missed it, "locavore" was selected as the 2007 word of the year by The New Oxford American Dictionary.) She says local eating is just "another symptom of our deeply troubled relationship with food" and "our obsession with local food has gone far enough ... we have heaped all our fears and anxieties onto the dinnerplate." Umm... isn't that the whole idea of the local eating "obsession"? Isn't it that we've ignored our dinner plates too long? I thought that reconnecting with our food supply and caring about animal rights (not so much for the animals' sake as for our very health and life, mind you -- poor treatment of animals and vegetables is thought to be responsible for the majority of often-deadly foodborne illnesses we confront) was completely the point.
It sounds to me as if Amy Stewart is a little peeved she didn't get a book deal to pay for her groceries for a year.
The sandwich, a staple of my family's diet, is a particularly interesting problem. Were I to open a pictorial culinary dictionary under "S," I'd imagine a photo of bread, meat, tomato, lettuce, mayo. But fresh red tomatoes and leafy green lettuce are anything but in season in Oregon, where I live -- and the vast majority of the U.S. and Europe for the next several months. Because it's easy to find a sustainably-farmed source, we've been eating lots of beef, ham, and crusty local bread, but what else?
I've been able to find lots of delicious, flavorful options utilizing local, organic produce.
I bought a cup and started feeling guilty when I got to the airpots to fill up. There was a sign encouraging patrons to bring their own cups -- you'd save 25 cents -- and I've been really working to reduce my waste lately. I mentally reminded myself to bring the cup home, so I could compost it and recycle the plastic lid. I grabbed the lid and... discovered Tater Ware.
Tater Ware is, as the cup lid indicates, made of potatoes. They are 100% biodegradable and, if you're worried about those things, GMO free. In addition to the to go cup lid I had on my coffee, the company makes clamshell takeout containers, deli trays, cutlery, and hot/cold cups. The products are "microwarmable" (you can use them to reheat food and beverages in the microwave) and, yep, they can go straight in the compost pile.
Most importantly, my coffee did not have a potato-ey aftertaste. My next campaign: convincing my neighborhood coffee shop to switch to Tater Ware. Someone's got to keep Idaho in business!